MP: “Club owner won’t let them go bankrupt but he needs to sort out the mess at Worksop Town”

Worksop Town v Pickering Town, MP John Mann watches the game
Worksop Town v Pickering Town, MP John Mann watches the game
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MP John Mann says Worksop Town Football Club is in a mess, but hopes owner and chairman Jason Clark can sort it out.

The pair met recently to discuss proposals for a community stadium in the town which could provide a new home for the Tigers.

But Bassetlaw’s elected representative believes the club first needs to sort out its management structure.

He said: “It was a good meeting, very positive. Jason is clearly keen to remain involved in some way with Worksop Town.

“What I wanted was clarity on who will be making decisions, the club can’t go forward without that and it’s in something of a mess at the minute.

“It needs a coherent management strcture, someone needs to be taking a hold of the ship and running it.

“The shambles of the academy raises all sorts of issues.

“This club needs to be run properly and football in Worksop needs to be run properly, that hasn’t been happening.”

The club is yet to announce the new ‘decision making committee’ Mr Clark said would be formed after he recently returned as chairman.

The businessman, who bankrolled the club to the tune of £550,000 between 2010 and 2014, walked away two and a half years ago, but kept his shareholding.

His return in November of this year was swiftly followed by the suspension of first team boss Mark Shaw and an internal investigation, which is still ongoing.

While Mr Mann strongly hinted that he and the owner were on the same page when it came to the need to move to a new ground, the MP still wants to see the the club in the hands of supporters.

“Jason is not a problem in terns of any new stadium,” he said. “We need to ensure there’s a viable Worksop Town operating at that time.

“I think he is clearly concerned about a number of significant issues.

“I put to him it would be better off in fan ownership – I would be delighted but I’m not expecting that to happen.

“At the minute it’s a hybrid system, not a good system, one large marjority owner and a board that he appoints. That hasn’t worked, that’s not the fans running the football club.

“He needs to decide what he’s going to do, he needs to sort the mess out.”

Mr Mann is certain that the owner will act as a financial safety net if the need arises, but said the uncertainty over the club’s management structure is a big concern.

“He was very clear he’s not going to let the club go bankrupt but he’s taken over as chairman again,” he said.

“That’s welcome in my view if he sorts a solution out. Whether he’s got time to be chairman is another matter, but the current hybrid system doesn’t work. There needs to be some continuity there, that’s very important.”

A club statement said: “A very positive meeting has taken place between Jason Clark and MP John Mann with regard to potential new facilities which would incorporate a new ground. The chairman is fully supportive of the plans outlined and is giving his full backing to the club to pursue this opportunity as soon as development plans have been finalised.”

Mr Clark was contacted for a comment.